A team of engineers presented a robot whose limbs can move with seven degrees of freedom designed to assemble and maintain space devices, a study that showed that E-Walker, created by scientists, would be able to assemble the NASA Large Array Survey Telescope.
The maintenance and assembly of large devices is nowhere more needed than in space, where conditions are extreme and human technologies have short life spans, explained by scientists. The launch into orbit of huge telescopes, such as the LAST designed with a 25-metre mirror, is impossible with existing missiles.
It is much easier and cheaper to collect such instruments directly in orbit, and researchers have proposed a device that can travel on the surface and make various moves in seven directions.
Scientists have done extensive engineering to check whether E-Walker can collect LAST in orbit and compare it to existing devices: Canadarm2 and the European robotic hand installed on ISS, and engineers have also collected a reduced prototype for Earth work.
The study confirmed the superiority of design over modern installations and the possibility of using a reduced copy to service complex devices, such as power turbines, on Earth.
Our analysis shows that the proposed innovative design of E-Walker has proved to be a universal and ideal candidate for future orbital missions, and the robot will be able to extend the mission's life cycle by performing planned maintenance and assembly in space.